An international friendly between Team Canada and Team Italy turned ugly Saturday, as Toronto Raptors players Andrea Bargnani and Marco Belinelli tried to play peacekeeper to prevent an all-out brawl.
The trouble began after Italy’s Stefano Mancinelli delivered an elbow to the back of the head of Canada’s Aaron Doornekamp.
Both benches soon cleared, and a video posted on YouTube shows Bargnani and Belinelli trying to diffuse the tensions.
The video also shows Team Canada head coach Leo Rautins and an unidentified member of the Italian staff in a heated verbal exchange.
On Aug. 5 Italy will begin its quest to qualify for September’s Eurobasket tournament against France.
Canada lost the match 81-75, with Belinelli leading the Italians with 22 points.
Canada was using the game as a tune-up for the late-August start of the 2009 Tournament of the Americas, in which four spots in the 2010 World Championships are up for grabs.